70th wedding anniversary
Marriage and Family

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh celebrate their 70th Wedding Anniversary – the longest and most successful marriage in royal history

Never in the history of royalty has a monarch reached a 70th wedding anniversary. A few have come quite near, but that coveted Platinum milestone is reached today for the first time by The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, who were married at Westminster Abbey on the morning of 20th November 1947 by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Geoffrey Fisher. She has previously paid tribute to him for being her “strength and stay all these years”; he has praised her for possessing “the quality of tolerance in abundance”. And in that model of mutual support and perpetual forgiveness lies the secret of a successful marriage.

They are known to have had their stand-up rows, their times of closed-mouth indignation, stubbornness and resentment. But they have remained steadfast as they promised God and each other that they would – for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health – until death do them part. Their unbreakable covenant of love, symbolic of God’s unbreakable covenant sealed with the blood of Christ, is a remarkable testimony in an age of fickleness, infidelity and quick divorce. ‘Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it,’ wrote St Paul to the Ephesians (5:25). It is an impossible human task, of course, but the one-flesh character of marriage is certainly a little easier when there are three in the union, and one of them is God.

So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband (vv28-30).

What a wonder it is when the Supreme Governor of the Church of England leads by example, upholding her church’s doctrine of marriage and modelling it to her subjects as a paradigm of duty and a metaphor of Christ’s relationship with his Church. She may be Queen and Head of State, but she has been faithful and obedient in her marriage even when Prince Philip has not treated her as Christ would his Church, with infinite loyalty and self-sacrificial love. For many today, this is too exalted an ecclesiology; too lofty, too ideal, too perfect for fallen humanity to attain. But The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh manifestly have a high view of marriage as an honourable and sacrosanct estate: he is her strength and stay; she tolerates in abundance. There is nothing patriarchal or ‘abusive’ about this union: it is a partnership dominated by Christ, in unity with Christ, and they have been nurturing each other for 70 years ‘unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ‘ (4:13).

As society’s beliefs about and practice of marriage undergo incremental metamorphosis, it is worth remembering that marriage is eschatological and perfect as well as realised and partial: we eagerly await the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Rev 19:6-9); ‘For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven‘ (Mt 22:30). As we see more face to face, we shall know more of that community, that fellowship, that fidelity of love which marriage makes possible.

But our vocation on earth is to confront that hardness of our hearts which nullifies God’s model for companionship and creation. Christian marriage is a mystery of grace. As a sacrament, perhaps it is already counter-cultural, endeavouring to resist those corrosive cultural influences, the ignorance, the unfaithfulness which seek to render it nothing more than a contract of the state. These are increasingly sensitive issues (..perhaps they have been for 500 years..), and pulpits often fear to preach marriage contention in the public discourse, and so the ignorance and unfaithfulness and ignorance of unfaithfulness perpetuates itself, and we see in mirrors even more darkly.

But that is for another day. This 70th wedding anniversary is a day of congratulation and celebration. God bless Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh for making the metaphor of Christ’s covenantal love visible to the world for 70 years. Long may she reign.

  • Congratulations to them but sadness that three out of four children failed to follow their example.

  • We will be ringing our Parish Church bells this afternoon to mark the occasion. Unfortunately, due to the age of most of our ringers, we will not be able to ring a peal (which takes over three hours), or even a quarter peal, as most of us no longer have the stamina for such ringing. We hope to ring 70 call-changes which will take us about 20 minutes!

    • Cressida de Nova

      You could put a recording on loud speaker and head off down to the pub for a few ales to celebrate.:)

      • Some churches do play recorded bells, you can always tell because they just don’t sound right. Anyway, we want to keep the tradition of bell-ringing alive. England originated the art of change ringing and is still has about 90% of the bells in the world hung for changes. We try to ring for all important state occasions.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Congratulations – don’t listen to the harbinger of laziness below – some of us appreciate things done properly by those making the effort to do so.

      • Just back from ringing. We rang our call changes to a small audience, the children and teachers from near-by pre-school and they came into the ringing room afterwards to see how we ring. We don’t miss any chance of getting recruits, although we’ll have to wait ten or so years for these!

        • Dominic Stockford

          The one thing we miss having had to sell our victorian falling down heap is the bell – Whitechapel bell foundry manufactured. The original builders had planned for a peal of six, which would be even more of a loss, so in a way its good it didn’t happen!

          • Whitechapel foundry has now closed, but the tools and machinery along with some skilled staff have been taken over by a firm of non-ferrous metal founders who hope to continue casting bells.

          • Dominic Stockford

            I had heard – it seemed sad, but the skills have survived along with the tooling – so more bells will come along.

          • Apparently trade is quite good, orders from the US and Australia, as more churches and some public buildings want bells for change ringing.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Good. Our refurbishment couldn’t fit a new bell in – and I would guess that the planners would have prevented it being done anyway, sadly. But it’s good to hear they’ve got a start.

        • Cressida de Nova

          Dominic likes things done properly so i am sure if you bow and scrape nicely and maybe throw in a bag of money he will ring the bells for you… him being an expert on clanging cymbals

          • Why don’t you go and learn to ring a church bell? Keep a centuries-old tradition alive. You’d be welcome at most bell towers, and these days they don’t insist on you going to Service afterwards. On practice night, we usually go to the pub afterwards, so it also a social activity.

          • Cressida de Nova

            I must decline your kind invitation. I had an unfortunate experience when I was at school with a bell ringer.I was up in the chapel choir loft and the rope of the bell was just near me. I was fascinated it by it going up and down and decided to give it a hard yank to help it along. The nun below ringing the bell was small and light of stature and found herself hanging from the ceiling . I got into terrible trouble and was almost expelled. I have never touched a bell rope since. Thank you anyway.

          • It’s good exercise and a lot cheaper than a gym.

          • Cressida de Nova

            I’m a swimmer and a surfer. I get plenty of exercise. If you learn to swim I’ll do a chanel crossing with you or we could even do the Tiber:)

          • Sorry. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

          • Anton

            Perfume is cheaper in France?

          • Cressida de Nova

            Smart arse:)

          • Terry Mushroom

            If you don’t know it, I recommend Gerard Hoffnung’s address about the bricklayer to the Oxford Union.

            I first heard it after light’s out at my Catholic boarding school, listening on my very forbidden radio. Trying to suppress my laughter only made it worse. It was catching, of course, and soon the entire dormitory joined in. The noise was so great that it alerted our housemaster. Switching on the lights, he demanded to know what we were laughing at. And, of course, I was the only one that knew.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOy2GuaP8Mo I hope you enjoy it.

          • Cressida de Nova

            I’ll look at it later…must go now.

  • ecclesiaman

    Yes, congratulations are due as HG opines. On a sour note I wish the Queen had abdicated rather than sign the SSM bill, and refused to wear the EU hat and uniform at the opening of parliament.

    • Coniston

      I’m not sure, but didn’t the King of Belgium(?) abidicate for one day only, because he refused to sign a similar Bill?

      • ardenjm

        The saintly Baudouin abdicated for a day so as not to have to sign Belgium’s abortion law.
        I believe the process of Beatification for Baudouin is underway: there are very few canonised monarchs in history!

        • Ray Sunshine

          Constantine, so I’m told, is a saint in Eastern orthodoxy. The time is long past, sadly, when Rome might have accorded him the same recognition.

          Is that true about Baudouin, by the way? My impression is that Belgian Catholics took that 24-hour abdication, at the time, as a supreme act of hypocrisy.

          • It is true about King Baudouin. He was always known as a very devout man of faith and is said to have considered becoming a priest but, due to the abdication of his father, King Leopold III, he remained a lay man so as not to end the Belgian monarchy. The Catholic Church played a major part in everything he did. What made King Baudouin stand out was his refusal to grant royal assent to a bill legalising abortion in Belgium. Faced with a deadlock, government officials came up with the solution of basically deposing the King until they enacted the bill themselves and then placing him back on the throne.

            The pro-life movement see him as a great hero in the struggle against what Pope John Paul II called “the culture of death”. Saint Pope John Paul II paid great tribute to the late King. In fact, King Baudouin was the last living member of the Supreme Order of Christ, the most rare and prestigious papal honour since the honour system was revised by Pope St Pius X in 1905. Pope John Paul II visited the tomb of King Baudouin, along with HM Queen Fabiola and four witnesses and later spoke in the highest terms of the late King of the Belgians as a man who put Christ at the centre of his life and as a monarch who defended God and human rights, including the rights of the unborn.

            The King could not change the hearts and minds of the politicians nor could he change popular opinion. The only thing he could do was sign the bill or not sign it. What other monarch in Christendom did as much? He risked a great deal for his moral stand and that should not be shrugged off. It was not the King who found the legal “loophole” to enact the bill without royal assent. That was the politicians at work.

          • Anton

            I didn’t know this story. Did Baudouin resist the removal of his powers in the hope of preventing abortion being legalised?

          • It was the politicians who declared the King ”unable to govern” and the Cabinet assumed his powers and promulgated the abortion law. There’s a clause in the Belgium Constitution to cover eventualities in which the monarch was judged to be incapacitated and needed to be removed.

            Did he resist? What else could he do? It was a political solution that preserved the constitutional Monarchy as well as the democratic will of the people. He didn’t cooperate with the manifest evil of abortion. He didn’t refuse to take up his crown the next day.

          • Anton

            There is plenty that a monarch could do: he could call to the armed forces to see who is loyal to him and who to parliament.

            Is it the case that Baudouin cooperated with this plan in order to remain king while salving his conscience? Was not the right thing to do to try to stay on the throne and refuse to sign?

          • Terry Mushroom

            Belgium has reportedly the most liberal euthanasia laws in the world. People with psychiatric conditions – even children – can request it.

            The second King of the Belgians, Leopold II, founded the Belgian Congo where the inhabitants were treated abominably. It has been described as one of the the most brutal in modern colonial history.

            Belgium is very divided, much fought over country.

            So maybe you’re right about Baudouin. Or maybe you’re wrong.

          • Chefofsinners

            Poor Belgium. Even their cabbages are smaller than everyone else’s.

          • Are you seriously suggesting an armed insurrection against the democratic will of the people, and a civil war which the King would have lost?
            The politicians removed him, as was their constitutional right, then restored him.

          • Anton

            If he had been a protestant monarch I am in no doubt that you would be giving him a hard time for this (in)action.

          • Why? His nation knew he was opposed to abortion on moral grounds and he refused to sign the law. Many on the left in Belgium called for his abdication. It’s a shame his successor didn’t adopt the same position on euthanasia and same sex “marriage”.

          • Anton

            You know exactly why, Jack.

          • Know what?

          • Anna

            “He was always known as a very devout man of faith…”
            And yet he paved the way for the Islamisation of Belgium. All for a few petrodollars-
            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Mosque_of_Brussels

          • They were different times, 1967. One can’t lay mass Muslim immigration at the door of King Baudouin. That’s down to politicians.

          • John

            All devout men (and women) of faith are already priests.

          • All are members of the Royal Priesthood; not all are sacerdotal priests.

        • Pubcrawler

          There are three English ones.

          • ardenjm

            More if you count those who were Kings of bits of England:

            Aethelberht of Kent
            Edmund the Martyr King of East Anglia
            Edward the Confessor [King of England]
            Edward the Martyr [King of England]
            Edwin King of Northumbria – as it came to be known
            Oswald King of Northumbria

            The English have had no canonised Queens, however – so honorary mention to St Margaret of Scotland.

            Even more surprising in some ways: the Irish have no canonised royalty at all.

            I don’t count the victim of Protestant regicide, Charles I. Anglicanism has no authority to canonise.

          • Anton

            Nor would he deserve it.

  • Dreadnaught

    Let’s not get carried away here.
    Many marriages would also survive if conducted within a house with 775 rooms and numerous Palaces. The fact that they are not divorced on the grounds of Phil’s many peccadillos is due Elizabeth’s total devotion to the Constitutional Monarchy and the welfare of the UNited Kingdom. I salute her.
    Where was he when Fagan broke in and sat at the end of HER bed?

    • Busy Mum

      I get the impression that previous generations did not automatically assume that marriage meant sharing a bed every night. Just because he wasn’t in her bed, it doesn’t follow that he was in someone else’s.

      • Anton

        The vast majority of people had no other bed.

        • Dreadnaught

          I never suggested that for one minute BM, but two people in the same house/bedroom/separate rooms I would have thought that one or the other would have been called for/summoned to help/defend etc.
          Not withstanding, they both have placed duty above washing their dirty linen in public.

          • Busy Mum

            Apologies – that’s how I read it! I doubt we ever got told the full story about Fagan, anyway.
            Duty – that thing that needs to be rediscovered, and quickly too. Whenever I am confronted with papers listing ‘rights’ and ‘responsibilities’ I cross them through and write ‘privileges’ and ‘duties’, with an arrow to reverse the order.

        • Busy Mum

          True – but we’re talking royalty here – separate apartments, rooms and beds. The majority had to share the one bed and the one room with the children too!

      • Dominic Stockford

        Absolutely. And there is no evidence of anything other than fidelity on his part.

    • Cressida de Nova

      She probably thought it was Phil.

    • Dominic Stockford

      I’m sorry, but you attack the fidelity of Prince Philip with no more evidence than a string of rag-top tittle-tattle. there is no evidence at all of anything at all adulterous in his relationships across the years, merely people seeking to undermine both the monarchy, and the marriage, and marriage itself.

      • Dreadnaught

        Merely echoing what dare not be exposed. Yet.

        • Manfarang

          We await your book.

    • Terry Mushroom

      One never knows what goes on in other people’s marriages, of course. But I wonder how many people can fly out to lounge aboard a yacht as Diana reportedly did after rows? The majority sleep on the spare bed.

  • ardenjm

    “God bless Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh for making the metaphor of Christ’s covenantal love visible to the world for 70 years.”

    Well certainly for the Divine Blessings but for the rest a qualified: Maybe.
    We’ll know in a couple of decades just how the marriage panned out in reality, I guess.
    I’m quite sure of Her Majesty’s fidelity to her vows – at least in concrete action – it’s hard to imagine her dallying like her sister. For her husband, let’s face it, the stories are too persistent and consistent not to have some truth to them.

    But marriage is 90% forgiveness and it was always going to be an uniquely difficult marriage for both of them. So they’ve made it and on balance that’s a very good thing: Divorce is not something that God wants and it’s genuinely edifying to have a monarch reach this milestone.

    On a purely theological note, I’m not sure it is just a metaphor though: Christ IS the Bridegroom. The Church IS the Bride. They ARE one flesh. Since that’s a divine reality it’s more real than human marriage which is a grace-given participation in it. Adam and Eve were pointing to that fulfilment in Christ, after all.

    Two questions:
    Is marriage a sacrament in the Her Majesty’s religion by the way?
    Have we ever had a divorced Archbishop or Bishop in the CofE? Anyone know?

    • Anton

      Anglicans regard only baptism and Communion as sacraments.

      The Bible is explicit that marriage is a covenant and I take it that Rome and Canterbury agree about that, even if they disagree about its sacramental status.

      • ardenjm

        Thank you!

      • Coniston

        It depends who you talk to. Anglicans come in a great number of varieties, though probably not 57. Many Anglo-Catholics would hold that there are seven sacraments.

        • Anton

          See Article 25 of the 39 Articles of the Church of England, which remain normative.

          • ardenjm

            “which remain normative.”

            I honestly did not know that.
            In what way are they normative?
            Are the articles something that are applied (if that’s even the right word)?
            If so, by whom? And to what effect?

            I’d just assumed that Articular (Articulate? Articulated?) Anglicans were just one part of the Branch Theory Anglican Communion which celebrates diversity, transexuality, polygamy and Diwali…

          • Anton

            There are constitutional differences between the CoE and the rest of the Anglican Communion worldwide. To my knowledge the 29 Articles remain authoritative in the CoE even if they are widely ignored, but you might seek further opinion about that.

          • ardenjm

            Ah. Okay. So authoritative but with no real power?
            A bit like the Queen herself in some ways: constitutionally essential but governmentally redundant – except for signing the laws put before her: a hostage of privileged circumstance in many ways.

          • Anton

            That’s what it looks like to me but I’m not an Anglican, hence my suggestion that for further detail you need other opinions. (I’m not infallible, but then, who is…)

      • Chefofsinners

        Also nonconformists have sucramints, which are what old ladies unwrap during long prayers.

        • Ray Sunshine

          Not only old ladies, Mr Bean as well. An unforgettable episode featuring Richard Briers.

    • As to the first question, marriage is not a “proper” sacrament in the Church of England. The person officiating wouldn’t have the required ability anyways. According to the 39 Articles they only accept two sacraments as “Sacraments of the Gospel” – Baptism and the Eucharist.

      Mind you, like all things Anglican, it depends who you ask. Five other acts are regarded variously as “full sacraments” by Anglo-Catholics or as “sacramental rites” by Evangelicals with varied opinions among broad church and liberal Anglicans on their actual status. The other five: “are not to be counted for Sacraments of the Gospel, being such as have grown partly of the corrupt following of the Apostles, partly are states of life allowed in the Scriptures; but yet have not like nature of Sacraments with Baptism, and the Lord’s Supper, for that they have not any visible sign or ceremony ordained of God.”

      In 2010, the Church of England agreed that divorced clergy can now become Church of England bishops. The House of Bishops made clear that there is no obstacle to a divorcee, or a priest married to a divorcee, being consecrated a bishop.

      Given their next Supreme Governor was himself a divorcee (now a widower), “married” to a “divorcee” (who remains married to a Catholic in the eyes of God), it would be difficult for them to agree otherwise.

    • Little Black Censored

      Several divorced bishops.

      • Anton

        In the CoE, not just the Anglican Communion?

  • Ray Sunshine

    My missus is unimpressed by the achievement. Putting up with seventy years of married life is no big deal, she says, for a woman who never needs to do any housework.

    • meltemian

      ……or laundry, or share a bathroom!
      Only made 53yrs myself, but then I WAS a child bride.

    • Little Black Censored

      Which is easier, housework or the Queen’s programme of public duties?

      • Ray Sunshine

        You mean we have a choice?

  • Cressida de Nova

    I think it is miraculous that two people can survive a 70 year marriage. They must have spent a lot of time apart and as Mrs Sunshine said they have been spared the mundane and drudgery aspects of normal daily life .They don’t have to work for a living,which removes a lot of pressure and stress I imagine.They might actually like each other as well. That always helps.

    • Busy Mum

      It’s only ‘miraculous’ because divorce has become the norm.

      The way people associate the words ‘mundane’, ‘drudgery’ and ‘housework’ with marriage is quite bizarre. Don’t single people ever do any cleaning? Don’t single people experience ‘normal daily life’?

      • Cressida de Nova

        It’s miraculous because it is unusual for both parties of the marriage to still be alive.Usually one is deceased. Seventy year marriages are unusual.

        You should ask the Inspector …he is single. Single daily life is different from married daily life especially when children come along. I am surprised you are not aware of any difference. Are you married to a man?

        • Busy Mum

          Ah, you mentioned ‘survival’ in almost the same breath as saying they must have spent a lot of time apart.

          Yes, 70 year marriages are probably going to peak around now, as this generation – the Queen, my parents-in – law (70 years next year all being well) – is the last batch of people who got married in their twenties, actually believed that they were going to stay married for the rest of their lives and have also aged concurrently with the increase in life expectancy.

          From now on, as people get married in their thirties and don’t necessarily mean what they say in their vows, 70 year marriages will probably become even more rare than they were.

          I’m certainly married to a man – any alternative is impossible!

      • Chefofsinners

        To be very honest, when I was single there wasn’t a whole lot of cleaning done. Dust lay thick on the chandelier until Mrs Chef, on the way back from honeymoon, stopped off at the supermarket and spent £70 on cleaning products.

        • Busy Mum

          Nothing like the division of labour for improving the standard of living for all!

          • Anton

            And providing us all with pins.

          • Busy Mum

            If I were male, I’d probably be sharp enough to respond with a witty comment something like, well, aren’t you sharp….

          • Anton

            Not as sharp as Adam Smith. There are some hilariously tart paragraphs in Wealth of Nations.

    • CliveM

      Theres a lot of drudgery associated with unvailing plaques, attending openings and exchanging small talk with foreign politicians. They’ve earned their crust.

      • Yes, poor things. And on top of all this there’s a weekly meeting with the Prime Minister to suffer. One would sooner mine coal or empty rubbish bins.

        • CliveM

          Sarcasm doesn’t become you HJ.

          Those aren’t the only options available.

          • A zero hours contract with Poundland?

          • CliveM

            Or what you and I do/did.

          • Less drudgery than being a King? Jack thinks not.

          • CliveM

            Youve got a very old fashioned view of Kingship. Of course being a glorified event opener maybe your thing.

          • Yes, all those servants cooking, cleaning, and tending to one’s needs, the chauffeurs, ones access to yachts, planes, trains and horses, holidaying in palaces and pursuing one’s pastimes, hardly compensate for the drudgery. Not forgetting the corgis.

          • CliveM

            We are talking about drudgery in everyday life. I never said there weren’t perks.

            I wouldn’t do it, would you?

          • Cressida de Nova

            Yes Jack would do it.

          • Ray Sunshine

            I would, too, like a shot. Or maybe even like Pascal Sauvage.

            http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0274166/

          • King Jack I – has a cool ring to it.

          • CliveM

            Well you had better stop commenting on this blog, as King you won’t be allowed opinions. Except approved ones. Or your Catholicism. You’d better give the FO your holiday itinerary as well, just so they can advise if they will allow you to go there or not!

          • carl jacobs

            King of what? The laundry?

          • King Jack would regally ignore such silly insults.

          • carl jacobs

            Just remember what happened to the Prince who would have been king of the curtains. He didn’t get to [music swells] …

          • Jack isn’t dreaming of being King of the curtains. That Crown is already taken.

          • Anton

            Responsibility without power is a lousy position.

          • What responsibility? The State function of the Monarchy has shrunk to that of a mere figurehead.

          • Anton

            Same as Baudouin: the responsibility to sign ungodly legislation into law

          • If a British Monarch ever did so Jack would applaud them. However, they never have.

          • Dominic Stockford

            One of Tony Benn’s autobiography volumes was called ‘Office without Power’ – it isn’t just the Queen who finds this to be the case.

          • Little Black Censored

            Are you a republican? Shame!

          • No …. Jack can see Monarchy has its merit. But let’s not make constitutional Monarchs into martyrs either.

          • Anton

            The servants cook the corgis?

        • Anton

          There are certain ex-PMs whom I might well rather do those things than meet.

    • John

      They don’t have to work for a living, but show me someone who is still working for a loving in their nineties, like HMtQ and PP.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Beautifully put. And a far harder task than doing a job of work at that.

      • Cressida de Nova

        It is not a question of still working….neither of them have worked at all

        • Dominic Stockford

          You have an odd idea of work. And you clearly have little or no respect for our monarch. Kindly leave the chatroom.

          • Cressida de Nova

            And you clearly have no experience of work either…. from priest to pastor….what did you actually do apart from preach heresy and scrounge off the Church purse?I mean your not the sort to get your hands dirty and treat lepers

          • Dominic Stockford

            You are, frankly, a vile and unpleasant person who attacks people without any knowledge at all of their life and what they have done, and thus with complete and utter error of fact. Apologise immediately or be blocked – and I’d prefer you didn’t, frankly.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Ok. Gone.

          • ardenjm

            But Cressida is entirely right. You say as much in your online ‘testimony’ yourself!
            Either before your run-in with the law and your depression – I forget when and can’t be bothered to go and check – you introduced heretical teaching and practices into your Catholic parish whilst still a Catholic priest. Nothing like a bit of top-down clericalism, eh? So having lost the Faith yourself, you tried to foist your faithlessness onto the people of the parish that your Bishop and thus the Church had mandated you to serve – not betray with your own apostasy.
            This means that you were living off both your parishoners’ generosity and the diocese which you belonged to – a diocese and parishoners that had spent many tens of thousands of pounds on your priestly formation during at least 5 years. Did you pay them back? No. You kvetched about how little “support” you got!
            And your “pay-back” now is your bilious bigotry about how hard done by you were whilst a Catholic and a priest!
            You weren’t hard done by: you were a spoilt brat.
            And a spoilt brat you have remained: clutching your pearls in Lady Bracknellesque outrage because Cressida de Nova has correctly identified just what a narcissistic religious hypocrite that you are.

          • Harsh but a fair summation.

          • ardenjm

            It was his utterly pompous, “kindly leave the chatroom” that confirmed once and for all what an utter ass he is. He deserves all the opprobrium that can be heaped upon his self-important, vainglorious, heretic’s head.

          • He makes Jack laugh. He’s a parody, surely. Imagine his sermons!

          • Anton

            One is tempted to drop in and listen to one when I’m around there…

          • Well like attracts like, Anton.

          • Anton

            I can take compliments!

          • Peasant Farmer

            I found a link to his sermons yesterday and posted it, it must have contravened a forum rule as the post was deleted.

            I don’t know anything about him but at least he posts under his real name, while you and Ardenjm et al take potshots under a pseudonym, not particularly seemly.

          • Now liberated. It found its way into ‘spam’ (as do most posts which carry hyperlinks, unless they’re from a regular commenter, in which case Disqus rather cleverly knows them).

          • Peasant Farmer

            Bless you, and thankyou for your tireless work. If only the C of E had more minds like yours.

          • And your name is Peasant Farmer?

          • carl jacobs

            I broke my own rule to see what invective ardenjm was hurling at Dominic, and got all the way to “prig” before I stopped reading. Ardenjm calling another commenter a “prig” is one of the most unintentionally hilarious comments I have read in the seven years I have spent on this weblog. Self-awareness. It’s a thing these days. Some people should try it.

            Your “reform ardenjm” plan isn’t going too well. Perhaps you should step up your efforts.

          • “Prig”? He called him a “narcissistic religious hypocrite”, and a “spoilt brat” peddling “bilious bigotry about the Church with doses of self-pitying egoism” But “prig”?

          • carl jacobs

            So … It’s probably a good thing you were never a Defense Lawyer.

          • Yeah, Jack missed that post.

          • ardenjm

            Don’t fret on my account, Jack: I’m MUCH worse than a prig.

            This is why I’ll never become a Protestant: You have to be so (self)-righteous-in-the-faith once you’ve “accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour.” I’d never be able to keep up. I’m such a mediocre Christian.

            Carl, on the other hand, is so beautifully detached. So elegantly forbearing. A paragon, really, of utter unmerited graciousness.

            He is quite right to not dirty his hands nor waste his time with the likes of me.

          • Anton

            MUCH worse than a prig? How can you hope to represent Christ to the world with that attitude?

          • ardenjm

            Very poorly.
            I’m certainly no exemplar.
            Surely you have more than enough evidence of that?
            Kyrie eleison.

          • Anton

            Sure, but do you take pride in your invective?

          • Anton

            Pay the diocese back? Perhaps he should have requested compensation for being taught such unbiblical stuff.

          • ardenjm

            He made the CHOICE to go there, don’t forget.

          • Anton

            But then realised that what he had been taught did not match the church’s own scriptures.

          • ardenjm

            Apart from that being false (as any non-skewed by protestant ideology reading of Scriptures would confirm) it’s also beside the point:
            He would have cost his diocese upwards of £50,000 during his formation, all things considered.
            He then bleats (constantly, I might add) about how little care was taken of him when with the Church.
            Enough already.
            The Church owes him nothing – and he owes the Church fifty grand. And someone with more honesty and less self-righteousness would have realised this long ago and shut up about how hard done-by he’s been.

            The theological differences are neither here nor there in this instance: it’s a question of natural justice. End of.

          • Anton

            You don’t get to decide unilaterally when it’s End Of in a dialogue.

            Here’s a parable for you. A man bought a washing machine. He *chose* it form all of the other washing machines on display. But when he plumbed and plugged it in, it failed to work properly. He took it back. The seller said, “Sorry mate; *you chose* it!”

          • ardenjm

            You’ve got this exactly the wrong way round: well done.

            Don’t you see? Stockford is the washing machine.
            The diocese invested in him. He didn’t work.
            The diocese was well within its rights to ask for its money back – except of course the diocese never does.
            In fact, the washing machine – still broken I might add – now trundles around the place complaining that the diocese didn’t throw even more good money after bad in order for said broken washing machine to mangle clothes and malfunction: wilfully, I might add.
            Indeed here he is saying, “I should sue the diocese for buying me, a dud.”

            Hoisted on your own petard, Anton.
            Truly: End of.

            Next!

          • Anton

            Falsely claiming the sole right to interpret parables again, I see!

          • ardenjm

            You can interpret it any way you want. I don’t give two hoots.

          • He’s covered under fair trading regulations as any local authority trading standards officer would tell you.

          • Anton

            He wasn’t, prior to the Sale of Goods Act. (Incidentally, many extended guarantees that one is pressed to sign contain small print taking away your rights under that Act; people are mugs to pay to loose their rights!)

          • Anna

            It is nice of you to speak up for someone who is being bullied so unfairly.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Quite so.

          • Dominic Stockford

            A good idea. I shall seek compensation for having my life ruined by the dangerous deceits and blasphemous heresies of Rome.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Frankly you’re a joke… a costly one to the religious denominations you attach yourself to….you’ll run out of options eventually…you might even have to get a job.

          • But Cressie, he tried social work training for a time. Imagine!

          • Anton

            And God took him away from that ungodly occupation too.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Why do you think Social Work is an ungodly occupation.?

          • Anton

            Because the money that goes into it derives from the State, which is ungodly and has an anti-family agenda. There was no such profession as “social worker” before the Welfare State. Christians who are social workers mean well but they are cogs in an ungodly system.

          • Do you know the actual history of social work?

          • Anton

            If you know otherwise, please say.

          • You’ve made the claim social work is ungodly. It can’t be substantiated. The early roots of social care organisations and social work in the UK are Christian.
            Are all those in the employ of the state “ungodly” – teachers, doctors, nurses, policemen, military service personnel, department of work and pensions? It’s a ridiculous claim.

          • Anton

            The early roots are in charities, not in the State. And teachers and doctors are professions with a palpable body of knowledge.

          • A body of knowledge doesn’t confer “godliness”. Yes, the early roots of social work are in Christian charity – just like nursing and teaching. The state took didn’t create these professions but regulated and absorbed. Each has distinct codes of practise. What makes social work in itself singularly “ungodly”?

          • Anton

            Charities do their work out of love (which is why ‘charity’ was the original translation of ‘agape’). The government has mixed motives. The more it takes over, the more it ruins: at the behest of the State, doctors now routinely do abortions and teachers teach that nonmarital sex is OK. But doctors and teachers have existed for countless centuries; social worker is a new phenomenon since industrialisation.

          • It actually goes back a couple of centuries and is rooted in Christian charity. Relatively new or not, so what? Why call social work ungodly because it works for the state.?

          • Anton

            Because the State is ungodly.

            The Industrial Revolution goes back a couple of centuries too!

          • Which is where we started. You’re actually saying anyone who cooperates with the state is “ungodly”. That’s what revolutionary Marxists maintain too. What are you advocating then? Withdrawal from the employment by the state of all professionals?

          • Anton

            It’s not ‘cooperation’ with the State. It’s taking the State’s pieces of silver to further its agenda – inadvertently in the case of Christian social workers, but that is still the effect. (Dominic saw it while in training and did not become one.) In view of that agenda, come out of her, my people is the scripture that comes to mind.

          • Perhaps you should get out more and actually meet some Christian social workers. Do you know any?

          • Anton

            Yes.

          • Dominic Stockford

            It is impossible to act effectively as a Social Worker as a Christian – the system promulgates all the ungodly teachings of sexuality and other behaviours that we as Christians cannot possibly support.

          • Yet again you waste public money in being trained as a social worker and decide to leave!

          • Dominic Stockford

            The vile, erroneous, and illogical string of personal insults thrown at me by you and the others on this blog who seek to promulgate the dangerous deceits and blasphemous heresies of Rome demonstrates the deeply unpleasant nature of the spiritual putrefaction that lies at the heart of the Church of Rome. What is more, as Jesus pointed out, it demonstrates what lies in your heart.

            I see no further purpose in choosing to allow you to insult and abuse me, and so I am going to block you, but not without a prayer first – that the Holy Spirit would come your way and remove from your heart such hatred and vindictiveness, and replace them with a trust in Jesus Christ as your sole Saviour.

          • You poor wee snowflake. To think, recently you were inviting martyrdom. For all your huffing and puffing, Jack’s point is true.

          • Anton

            Jack: “Jack’s point is true”.

            That settles it then.

          • Glad you agree.
            He spent at least 5 years in a Church funded seminary, was ordained and changed his mind about the priesthood a few years later. Ever since he’s been bad mouthing the Church. Then he enrolled on a state funded social work course, again at no expense to himself, and is now bad mouthing that profession. He paints this picture of a valiant hero who bravely survived a nasty Papacy and secular, ungodly social work. He strikes Jack as a man who cannot work cooperatively within any system where he hasn’t got full authority and control. Ardenjm has got his measure.

          • Anton

            On the contrary, he takes a high view of Christ’s church.

          • He takes a high view of himself.

          • Anton

            Hi Jack

          • “Ungodly”?

          • Lol …. when did you get the authority to excommunicate folk from the blog for expressing their point of view?

          • Anton

            Where did you think he was claiming it? It was a request.

          • “Kindly leave the chatroom.”
            ROFL ….

          • len

            The RCC attack dogs have been loosed.They are all the more savage when one who was of their own has escaped.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Maybe I ought to go to one of their sites and treat some of them the way they do me. Then again, I simply won’t. It would be wrong. I hate the ad hominem that is always thrown. I guess that comes because they cannot provide logical and Biblical support for their ideologies.

          • ardenjm

            No, Dominic, it comes from you being a self-righteous prig.
            And to my memory the only time a debate with you has fizzled out is when, bleating for support to Cranmer himself (as you’re beginning to do here also) he weighs in – invariably to support you.

            It’s his blog he can support whomever he wants, of course.
            One has to admire his resistance to the stench of the putrefaction that comes from the whitewashed sepulchre of your brand of religiosity.

            Mind how you go.

          • len

            At least they cannot burn people anymore, so they have to resort to pouring out their vitriol on blogs such as the Cranmer’s..

          • Sir John Oldcastle

            “What comes out of a man’s mouth betrays what is in his heart…”

        • Norman Yardy

          I think they would disagree with that. The Queen works very hard with dispatch boxes and wielding her sword for honours. It’s not as if she can just sit around and do nothing.

        • IanCad

          Cressie, You generally write a lot of good sense. This is not one of those times.

    • I think you’ll find they work very hard. The role of Queen and Prince commands them to, and in a way they are never off duty. They have their routine and drudgery as well. I bet they have days they would rather not turn up to an engagement, but they do. I think they both enjoy the job and have a deep and loyal friendship as well as love that has seen them through.

      I think the older generations pre the sexual revolution were on the whole nicer people. As the subsequent generations have lost or rejected God and Christ, we’ve become nastier, more violent and aggressive and now selfish to the core.

  • len

    A marriage of 70 years is a testimony of commitment to the marriage vows and the steadfastness to go through many trials.OK, the Queen and Prince Phillip are in a unique positions as regards wealth and position but these must bring about their own problems regarding privacy and the availability to perform ceremonial duties over decades.

  • carl jacobs

    I guess you won’t be able to say all this about Prince Charles – who epitomizes a much more modern attitude about marriage. What with all that adultery and divorce and marrying the woman of his adultery. The adoration of Self means (among other things) that commitments are always revocable. This is often why Christian morality falls crosswise with the modern world. We assert that the Self should be set aside for the sake of others. And the modern world doesn’t much like it.

    “What do you mean I shouldn’t get divorced? I wouldn’t be happy! Who are you to live my life for me?”

    I have often wondered why the modern world still cares about adultery – given that it has otherwise completely trivialized sex. Why should sex suddenly take on such significance simply because two people make a revocable commitment to partner? It’s a question the modern world struggles to answer. If I can play cards with my co-worker, why shouldn’t I be able to sleep with her as well? It’s just sex, after all. What difference does it make? Why is something so trivial capable of producing such a sense of betrayal? And why should we organize our family life around a trivial element like sexual exclusivity?

    Well, I can answer. But our disintegrating modern world cannot. At least not with a straight face.

    • CliveM

      Lets be honest, in the long history of the Royal Family, the number of sexually faithful Prince of Wales could be counted on one finger. Charles’s problem isnt that his attitude is modern, its that its depressingly old fashioned.

    • Anton

      Adultery involves breaking a promise, and secular people still understand the notions of contract and betrayal. Also, the secular view is that you can do whatever you like if it doesn’t harm anybody else, and the jilted spouse is rightly understood to be harmed.

      • All a bit naïve that, Anton. “Don’t get caught” is the maxim.

        • Cressida de Nova

          Jack , why does Carl think that sex is trivial? Is this a Puritan Protestant thing?They regard it as a suffering duty rather than enjoyment don’t they. Is this why they have to think of England when copulating…a sort of endurance test ,like biting the bullet when having a leg sawn off without anaesthetic .

          • Anton

            Apart from the fact that Carl is American not English and was being sarcastic toward secularism in that comment, this is a bit much in view of what Pope Gregory “the Great” said about sex: that it was for procreation only, and even then it should not be enjoyed (Pastoral Rule (bk 3, ch 27).

          • Cressida de Nova

            Something must have got lost in translation for the last one and a half thousand years because this is not the Church’s stance.Who is your leader of the Puritans?
            You should take this matter up with him.

          • Pope Gregory was referring to immodest and lustful sex in marriage, based on Saint Paul. The teaching developed under Pope Saint John Paul II.

          • Anton

            No Gregory was not. In the words of Gregory’s that you quote, it is needful that by frequent supplications they do away their having fouled with the admixture of pleasure the fair form of conjugal union. In his preceding sentences Gregory speaks of immoderate intercourse, and says that intercourse is for procreation. So the sentence in italics shows what he considers as immoderate intercourse: for pleasure. There is nothing wrong with husband and wife engaging in it for pleasure, is there? Did Gregory regard that as lust? Why could it not be for love? Of course there may be lust within marriage and it is not a good thing, but lust and pleasure are not the same as pleasure is mutual.

            What do you expect when you choose a monk as Pope?

          • Is Saint Paul wrong?

            There are elements of truth contained therein. It would have been ridiculous for a Pope and Doctor of the Church to have taught that the mere presence of pleasure in marital sexual intercourse is sinful. This “Pastoral Rule” was not official teaching, it was merely one of Gregory’s theological works.

            The sentence you cite has to be read in context. Pope Gregory is not speaking about sexual pleasure in relation to moderate marital sexual intercourse, but is actually speaking about sexual pleasure in relation to “immoderate” marital sexual intercourse. He’s not criticizing the mere presence of pleasure in moderate marital sexual intercourse, rather he is criticizing the act of making pleasure the primary purpose in marital sexual intercourse by means of “immoderate” copulation.

            As Jack reads it, according to Pope Gregory, a husband has a right to moderate sexual intercourse with his wife, but he does not have a right to “immoderate,” excessive, or unrestrained sexual intercourse. Nor does she have to comply with sexual intercourse every hour of the day. Thus, while marriage does not give the couple the right to make pleasure the primary purpose of their sexual intercourse through immoderate copulation, still, in doing so, the married couple do not formally commit the sin of lust.

            Pope Gregory must be interpreted as saying that married couples “befoul” the “fair form” of marital intercourse by seeking pleasure through excessive copulation and, consequently, should pray and do
            penance to wipe out the selfishness caused by their immoderate approach to this marriage act. The Pope is teaching a point of “asceticism” in regard to a “venial fault” rather than accusing the couple of breaking the law of marriage and committing the sin of lust.

            You have misinterpreted immoderate intercourse to mean moderate intercourse; and primacy of pleasure to mean presence of pleasure. The teachings of Popes Gregory I, Paul VI, and John Paul II
            are all consistent and complementary. Saint John Paul II described lust as ” . . . ‘reducing’ the riches of the perennial call to communion of persons . . . to mere satisfaction of
            the sexual ‘need’ of the body.”
            Furthermore, he stated that
            “Man can commit this adultery ‘in the heart’ also with regard to his own wife if he treats her ‘only’ as an object to satisfy instinct.”

          • Anton

            God himself tells us that sex is related to bonding in Genesis 2:24 and it is the pleasurable aspects rather than the procreative aspects which achieve that. This point is conspicuous by its absence from the teaching of Gregory and others.

          • The two cannot be artificially separated. Having children together bonds and cements relationships. A marriage moves onto a different level when offspring arrive.

          • Anton

            I am not talking about artificial separation by eg contraception on the present thread. When husband and wife have sex knowing that the wife is not fertile that day, it is not more or less sinful than when they know she is. That depends entirely on whether lust is involved.

          • Not it’s not “lust” provided the couples accept that conception might take place and if it does they will accept this.

          • Anton

            Now it’s my turn to be conservative… any act of sex may be lustful, including consensual between husband and wife when the latter is known to be fertile.

            The problem with Gregory is that he makes mention of “pleasure” exclusively in the context of “immoderate sex”. One would never guess from him that married couples are allowed to enjoy it while hoping for a baby!

            And he means pleasure, for he wrote “voluptatis”, not lust (concupiscentia).

          • As Jack sad above, Pope Gregory is not speaking about pleasure in relation to moderate marital sexual intercourse, but is speaking about sexual pleasure in relation to “immoderate” marital sexual intercourse. He’s not criticizing pleasure in moderate marital sexual intercourse, but making pleasure the primary purpose in marital sexual intercourse by means of “immoderate” copulation.

          • Anton

            Gregory is not speaking about pleasure in relation to moderate marital sexual intercourse, but is speaking about sexual pleasure in relation to “immoderate” marital sexual intercourse. He’s not criticizing pleasure in moderate marital sexual intercourse, but making pleasure the primary purpose in marital sexual intercourse by means of “immoderate” copulation.

            That inference is going beyond his words. The problem, I increasingly realise, is that the *only* mention he makes of pleasure in intercourse is in relation to immoderate intercourse. Whereas it is the mutual pleasure that provides the bonding which God says is central to marriage (Gen 2:24).

            This is exactly the sort of problem you will get when a celibate monk pontificates to married people about their sex lives. I doubt that St Peter would endorse this unbalanced view.

          • Once again, you’re placing the worst possible construction on his words. Besides, he wasn’t pontificating. He mentioned pleasure in immoderate intercourse because his definition of this was based on having sex solely for selfish gratification. He was offering advice to pastors, not a definitive papal pastoral statement.
            Are you now suggesting that celibate men are incapable of offering pastoral advice on issues of sexual morality?

          • Anton

            That’s a subtle shift! Not on matters of sexual morality generally, but on what goes on during sexual intercourse specifically, Yes I am suggesting that they are incompetent to do so.

            you’re placing the worst possible construction on his words

            I’m noticing what he *didn’t* say, actually.

            You can project backwards, onto such early writings, the categories of papal writings that have since evolved in sophist-type defence against claims of inconsistencies, as much s you like!

          • How can you separate sexual morality from the actual conjugal act? Catholic theology deepens its understanding. It’s a living, breathing faith and not a dead one. In sexual morality, its teachings cannot be surpassed and many protestants are coming round to understanding this.

          • Anton

            How can you separate sexual morality from the actual conjugal act?

            If you can’t do that then a bunch of celibate clerics are *definitely* incompetent to advise on it.

            In sexual morality, its teachings cannot be surpassed and many protestants are coming round to understanding this.

            It’s not rocket science. “Sex is to be restricted to marriage between man and woman.” Eleven words are all it takes. John Paul II upheld that view but there is no need for the immense clouds of philosophical verbiage that he and others put up. Those 11 words were well understood by generations of protestants and Catholics until the modern era.

          • So there it is. Celibate men can’t know about sexual morality. And sexual morality only requires men and women to be married. Saint Pope John Paul II had a great deal more to say than eleven words.

          • Anton

            Yes he did, too many.

            If the maxim “sex is to be restricted to marriage between man and woman” were heeded then I reckon 99% of problems relating to sexual morality would vanish; don’t you?

            If another 100,000 words are needed to deal with the remaining 1% then the tail is wagging the dog.

            Celibate men can’t know about sexual morality.

            That’s a parody of my view. They can’t know as much as the married believer who has trod the path of righteousness and also has experiential knowledge, to be sure. The real anomaly is that the celibate Gregory advises pastors, men who are to advise congregations, whereas St Paul says that such people should be family men (in 1 Timothy 3).

          • Round and round we go!

            Saint Paul didn’t require marriage. He simply said there should only be one marriage. Saint Paul in 1 Timothy 3 is not requiring bishops to be married. This text is placing a limitation on the number of marriages a bishop could have in his lifetime. He could only have been married once. This is the position of the Catholic Church today. If a man has been married more than once, even if licitly, he cannot be admitted to the episcopacy. If Paul had meant that the elder must be married, the reading would have been ‘a’ not ‘one’ wife.” or simply “The bishop must be married.” The term one indicates that he is limiting the number, not mandating marriage.

            Let’s assume Catholic morality has been formed by men who have trodden the “path of righteousness”. Experiential knowledge isn’t essential. Some will indeed have had prior “experiential knowledge”. In addition, priests are likely to know far more about sexual encounters between men and women than your average married man given the amount of time they will have spent in the confessional listening to penitents.

          • Anton

            Are you really saying that a man who has, in sequence, married a woman (first time for each), lost his wife to death, married another never-married woman, lost *her* to death, then become ordained in the Roman Catholic church, is debarred from being a bishop, whereas if he had never met his second wife then he would qualify? What, if so, is the reason for that?

          • The reason? Scripture, scripture, and scripture.

          • Anton

            Which?

          • I Tim. 3:2.

          • Anton

            He is to be a husband of but one wife. Well, my twice-married man was: marriage ends at death (Romans 7:2), so he was never married to two women. I’m not minded to take exegetical advice on this passage from someone who thinks it means an episkopos should not be married at all during his episcopacy!

          • Now whose being a sophist?

            Perhaps you’ll take exegetical advice from the Evangelical scripture scholar Ralph Earle. Catholic and Protestant scholars generally agree St. Paul is not making marriage a requirement for the bishopric.

            The prohibition to remarriage to those called to holy orders is also consistent with Saint Paul’s repeated recommendations to all to remain celibate, remain single after having lost a spouse (I Cor. 7:1; 7-8; 25-28; 32-35; 38; 39-40), or even to live a celibate life within marriage (I Cor. 7:29).

            It’s interesting too that the Protestant New International Version of the Bible translates you cite, states “Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife.” There is no doubt where they stand on the question. St. Paul is limiting the candidate for the bishopric to “but” one wife.

          • Anton

            There is no word “but” in the Greek original:

            http://biblehub.com/text/1_timothy/3-2.htm

            A literal translation which preserves the word order is that he be a “one-woman man”. It’s a well-known phrase and what do you think it means?

          • It was you who quoted it above: “He is to be a husband of but one wife.”

            It just shows that translations and interpretations are not neutral. So much for sola scriptura!

            What does it matter what Jack believes the phrase means? How the Church understands it is what counts. And there is broad consensus about this between Catholic and Protestant scholars and theologians.

            It could mean serial monogamy, either in or outside of marriage. It could refer to polygamy. Or to adultery. Or, indeed, it might just refer to a man who has only ever committed himself in marriage to one woman. To understand it you have to read it in context and alongside the rest of Saint Paul’s writings, as well as scripture as a whole.

          • Anton

            Why then does your denomination insist that during his episcopacy he be a man of NO woman, with most candidates never having been married?

          • Why shouldn’t the Church require this discipline? It’s not prohibited by scripture.

          • 1 Corinthians 7:3-5. It needs, of course, to be taken together with Eph. 5:25ff and 1 Peter 3:7, but it clearly indicates that marital sex should be regular and frequent..

          • Those passages are about sex?!

          • 1 Cor. 7:3-5 is. The others need to be read in conjunction with it

          • Where do they imply sex has to be regular and frequent?

          • Royinsouthwest

            Why wait approximately 2,000 years for the teaching to be developed? Couldn’t God get it right first time?

          • God got it right – man is slow to catch on.

          • Anton

            Take it up with God? No thanks.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Anton one day you are going to have to face up to the fact that the religion you have chosen is not the authentic Christian faith. Ask your Catholic priest friend.

          • Anton

            What should I ask him?

          • Pope Gregory’s teaching is a nuanced teaching based on an interpretation of Saint Paul:

            Husbands and wives are to be admonished to remember that they are joined together for the sake of producing offspring; and, when, giving themselves to immoderate intercourse, they transfer the occasion of procreation to the service of pleasure, to consider that, though they go not outside wedlock yet in wedlock itself they exceed the just dues of wedlock. Whence it is needful that by frequent supplications they do away their having fouled with the admixture of pleasure the fair form of conjugal union. For hence it is that the Apostle, skilled in heavenly medicine, did not so much lay down a course of life for the whole as point out remedies to the weak when he said, It is good for a man not to touch a woman: but on account of fornication let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband (1 Cor. vii. 1, 2). For in that he premised the fear of fornication, he surely did not give a precept to such as were standing, but pointed out the bed to such as were falling, lest haply they should tumble to the ground. Whence to such as were still weak he added, Let the husband render unto the wife her due; and likewise also the wife unto the husband (v. 3). And, while in the most honourable estate of matrimony allowing to them something of pleasure, he added, But this I say by way of indulgence, not by way of command (v. 6). Now where indulgence is spoken of, a fault is implied; but one that is the more readily remitted in that it consists, not in doing what is unlawful, but in not keeping what is lawful under control. Which thing Lot expresses well in his own person, when he flies from burning Sodom, and yet, finding Zoar, does not still ascend the mountain heights. For to fly from burning Sodom is to avoid the unlawful fires of the flesh. But the height of the mountains is the purity of the continent. Or, at any rate, they are as it were upon the mountain, who, though cleaving to carnal intercourse, still, beyond the due association for the production of offspring, are not loosely lost in pleasure of the flesh. For to stand on the mountain is to seek nothing in the flesh except the fruit of procreation. To stand on the mountain is not to cleave to the flesh in a fleshly way. But, since there are many who relinquish indeed the sins of the flesh, and yet, when placed in the state of wedlock, do not observe solely the claims of due intercourse, Lot went indeed out of Sodom, but yet did not at once reach the mountain heights; because a damnable life is already relinquished, but still the loftiness of conjugal continence is not thoroughly attained. But there is midway the city of Zoar, to save the weak fugitive; because, to wit, when the married have intercourse with each other even incontinently, they still avoid lapse into sin, and are still saved through mercy. For they find as it were a little city, wherein to be protected from the fire; since this married life is not indeed marvellous for virtue, but yet is secure from punishment.

            (Book of Pastoral Care, Vol. 3, Admonition 28)

            The Catechism of Pope Saint John Paul II has developed the teaching:

            2360 Sexuality is ordered to the conjugal love of man and woman. In marriage the physical intimacy of the spouses becomes a sign and pledge of spiritual communion. Marriage bonds between baptized persons are sanctified by the sacrament.

            2361 “Sexuality, by means of which man and woman give themselves to one another through the acts which are proper and exclusive to spouses, is not something simply biological, but concerns the innermost being of the human person as such. It is realized in a truly human way only if it is an integral part of the love by which a man and woman commit themselves totally to one another until death.”

            “Tobias got out of bed and said to Sarah, “Sister, get up, and let us pray and implore our Lord that he grant us mercy and safety.” So she got up, and they began to pray and implore that they might be kept safe. Tobias began by saying, “Blessed are you, O God of our fathers. . . . You made Adam, and for him you made his wife Eve as a helper and support. From the two of them the race of mankind has sprung. You said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; let us make a helper for him like himself.’ I now am taking this kinswoman of mine, not because of lust, but with sincerity. Grant that she and I may find mercy and that we may grow old together.” And they both said, “Amen, Amen.” Then they went to sleep for the night.”

            2362 “The acts in marriage by which the intimate and chaste union of the spouses takes place are noble and honorable; the truly human performance of these acts fosters the self-giving they signify and enriches the spouses in joy and gratitude.” Sexuality is a source of joy and pleasure:

            The Creator himself . . . established that in the [generative] function, spouses should experience pleasure and enjoyment of body and spirit. Therefore, the spouses do nothing evil in seeking this pleasure and enjoyment. They accept what the Creator has intended for them. At the same time, spouses should know how to keep themselves within the limits of just moderation.

            2363 The spouses’ union achieves the twofold end of marriage: the good of the spouses themselves and the transmission of life. These two meanings or values of marriage cannot be separated without altering the couple’s spiritual life and compromising the goods of marriage and the future of the family. The conjugal love of man and woman thus stands under the twofold obligation of fidelity and fecundity.”

          • Dominic Stockford

            Now (given his reply below) he’s going to have to explain why one is ‘right’ and the other isn’t ‘wrong’. I’m sure he’ll have a form of words to explain away the clear dichotomy!

          • Carl was being ironic – in an American kind of way.

          • carl jacobs

            The Secularist wants sex to be trivial when he wants, and he wants it to be significant when he wants. He also wants to move between those two states at will. But he can’t have it both ways. He can’t take something common and ordinary and simply transform it by force of will into something precious and valuable.

            If you teach a man that something is cheap, he will act on the belief that it is cheap. The question is “Why does he ever want it to be valuable?” The answer is related to the value he places on himself.

          • Men just want free, uncomplicated sex for their pleasure and enjoyment – with no strings attached and certainly no children. It’s not an accident most prostitutes are women and young boys.

      • carl jacobs

        All you have done is restate my question as a declaration.

        the jilted spouse is rightly understood to be harmed

        How is she harmed by a lack of exclusivity? Why is this different from a game of Whist? A man is free to go into a bar, find so done whose name may or may not be Julie, and have sex with her. Why is this behavior suddenly considered harmful when a couple is formed?

        Adultery involves breaking a promise

        And suddenly this promise matters? Marriage also involves a promise. Raising the children you conceive in a marriage involves an implicit promise. People break those promises without so much as a sideways glance. One might also note that divorce imposes significant harm, but not to the departing party. And guess what? People don’t care. And anyways, this dynamic extends into relationships without marriage. The woman simply living with a man with likewise feel betrayed. Why? There is no promise in that case.

        Unless you want to say that the coupling forms an implicit promise of exclusivity. But then I still have my question unanswered. Why do we form family units around something as trivial as sex?

        • Anton

          The jilted spouse is harmed because her FEELINGS are hurt, and that scores points in secularism.

          I agree with you, of course; I’m just clarifying the secular view somewhat.

          • carl jacobs

            Yes I understand. And you are relaying their responses accurately. But those responses are not adequate.

    • Not forgetting: “Children are better off living with one parent rather than a mum and dad who are unhappy.”

      • carl jacobs

        You get an Upvote, but with caution. I suspect that there might be a sneaky nefarious Roman Catholic trap in the comment.

        • Well, if there is, Jack can’t see it. You’re becoming paranoid, Carl. Not good.

        • Anton

          I don’t think so. The interesting exegetical question is whether the disciples meant that it is better to stay celibate or better to just visit brothels.

          • Are you being serious?

          • Anton

            Mosaic Law does not prohibit it, does it?

    • Dominic Stockford

      The modern world cares about adultery because Satan knows that marriage between one man and one woman (there is no other kind) is a reflection of the wonderful union between Christ and His Church – thus he instigates those who follow him to attack marriage and undermine it wherever and however they can.

    • Chefofsinners

      ‘Straight face’? There you go again with your hetero-normative hate speech.

  • The first 30 years of marriage are the toughest. After that it’s a breeze.

    • Chefofsinners

      When we got married the wife and I agreed that I would take all the really important decisions. 20 years later, and – what a blessing – there hasn’t been one really important decision.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Not only a Biblical decision, but also one then honoured by God! Praise the Lord.

      • So she’s taken all the unimportant decisions then?

        • Chefofsinners

          As is the way of woman, she has taken all the decisions. Therefore none of them can have been important.

          • Norman Yardy

            The man is the head and the wife is the neck.
            The neck turns the head!

  • John

    Happy anniversary, and God save the Queen.

  • Dominic Stockford

    I join in the thanksgiving for the example set by our Queen and her beloved husband. But I must highlight, with anger, the disgusting way in which much of the media seems determined to paint Philip as an adulterous cheat, spending almost as many column inches on that as on the 70th Anniversary itself. Anyone would think that they wish to attack marriage itself, and its Creator, via their fruitless fulminations on the subject. And given that the media jumped willingly and with full support onto the illogical and ungodly bandwagon of the perversity of so-called ‘same-sex marriage’, there is little or no surprise that they take every opportunity they can to seek to undermine this most wonderful of relationships, symbolizing as it does, the union between Christ and His Church.

    • Dirt sells newspapers, which is why I read news on line, at least they don’t get any money from me (and I us an ad-blocker).

      • Chefofsinners

        Ever tried wrapping chips in webpages? I thought not. People like you are directly responsible for the death of culture.

        • Anton

          Silicon chips?

        • I don’t know where you’ve been, but chippies are not allowed to use newspaper due to potential harmful chemicals in the ink.

          • Anton

            Ink? Judging by my fingers I thought they used coaldust.

          • Pubcrawler

            Then your butler isn’t ironing the paper properly.

        • Anton

          Better than being responsible for the culture of death.

        • IanCad

          The most persuasive argument I’ve yet heard to quit getting my news from the internet.

        • betteroffoutofit

          That’s all newspapers’ are good for . . . I agree, they are VERY good at it!

  • Chefofsinners

    ‘Platinum milestone’ eh? Probably the only married couple who can afford one.

    • A couple in my church have been married four months longer than her Maj.
      They celebrated with a lunch at the church and then in the evening with their numerous progeny.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Astonishingly we also have a couple who have been married longer – by a couple of years. Mind you, he did get to 100 earlier this autumn.

      • TANFIELD

        Last month my Uncle and Aunt celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary. They are each in their early 90’s and unless something dramatic happens seem likely to celebrate their 75th anniversary

    • Chefofsinners

      Platinum millstone, possibly.

  • len

    What Satan cannot kill he corrupts and by doing that renders it useless for Gods Intention for humanity.
    Marriage between a man and a woman,the family unit, the Church all have been corrupted.
    But the Word of God stands forever a beacon of truth.
    Gods original intention for man stands true and all else is judged by that standard.

  • not a machine

    My first attempt to post on this event ended up with a post about monarchy and I realised that was not what this event was about. So diluted are thoughts around traditional marriage, in terms of value, when you travel through time and circumstances. This event is personal to H M Queen and Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh, it is their moment of thanksgiving, to each other and to God. May God the Father, God the son and God the Holy Spirit, dwell in there living and they in God, and guide them. God Save the Queen.

  • Chefofsinners

    The Queen is saying:
    “This is an historic millstone. I mean milestone. Milestone.”

  • Redrose82

    Last July my wife and I celebrated 65 years of marriage. We were extremely proud to receive congratulations from the Queen as we also did five years earlier

  • betteroffoutofit

    Vivat Elizabeth. And ‘Thanks’ to Prince Philip for all his share in her work over the years.

    Mind you . . . I too am sorry about the euSSR hat and signature on their documents . . . but I also wonder if such activity isn’t a function of a) accepting the dicta of an ostensibly elected government; b) the dangers of living one’s entire life in a glass bowl.